Hits and Misses

Student leaders saving money…Wha?8212;Hit

After a long year of student-leader initiatives that often resulted in spending student funds and increasing fees, it’s nice to hear that the Associated Students of the University ofUtah is backing measures to save students’ money.

In collaboration with the Utah Students Association, ASUU is pushing for the use of open-source textbooks or custom publishing arrangements. This would allow Utah professors to instruct their classes using cheap online packages of selected textbook portions with the permission of the publishers. Not only would this drastically reduce the cost of books, but it would cut back on paper printing. On the heels of the USA’s memorable initiative that made textbooks sales tax-immune, this is yet another step in the right direction.

Construction confusion8212;Miss

It’s bad enough not being able to navigate campus without falling into a hole or driving into a ditch or barricade. But it’s worse when there is no indication as to when the construction is going to stop, where it will be next and why exactly it is happening.

Whether or not the plethora of campus construction projects are justified, at the very least, students deserve adequate information and explanation that is lacking.

Taking the lead in research8212;Hit

From breakthroughs in breast cancer research to medical revelations found studying poisonous snails and the hair of first dog Bo Obama, the U is fast becoming a national leader in medical research.

The U is impressive not only in its consistent production of successful research, but also its ability to attract funding for many of these projects. The U raised $355 million for research funding last fiscal year, a university record. Then again, maybe it is the quality of research being done at the U’s many facilities, such as the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which just started building a brand new section, that is attracting funding on its own.

The world-class efforts of U researchers put the university on the map. Plus, the U is one of the easiest universities in the nation for undergraduates to get involved in research projects. Sounds like a win-win.

UTA catering to the U8212;Hit

The Utah Transit Authority just gave U students one less reason to complain about public transportation.

By reallocating funds toward expanding routes that cater to the U, UTA was able to add two TRAX trains that travel directly to and from campus and increase the number of buses servicing the area, decreasing wait time and crowding. Hopefully this encourages more students to ride mass transit instead of roughing it through the U’s congested parking lots.

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